Probate Litigation Lawyer Bergen County NJ
As a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ knows, even the best estate planning can still mean that family and other beneficiaries fight over a will or contest it. In some instances, there may be valid reasons to contest a will. In other instances, there might be family members who have been fighting for decades or someone who thinks they were left out when they should not have been. If you are caught in the middle of an ugly estate planning argument or believe that there is something wrong with a will, you can speak with the team from Kaplan Law Practice, LLC.
Are there things that can make a will or trust invalid?
Absolutely. You may have your suspicions that a will or trust is invalid and there are a few ways that this could be true.
- You think it was improperly executed. If you know information about the will, like there were no witnesses to the will or the witnesses signed the will at a later date (and never saw the testator sign the will), then the entire will may be invalid.
- You think the testator was not of sound mind. If you believe the testator was not of sound mind when they signed the will, that could mean the will would be invalid. You would need to provide evidence to show that they did not have the mental capacity to understand what they were signing and you may need medical experts to testify.
What can you do?
Our Bergen County, New Jersey probate litigation lawyer knows that it can be difficult to be the person to stand up and say that something is not right. Not only will this delay things, but it can make you an outcast from the rest of your family. However, if you see something wrong, it is your responsibility to point it out. Probate litigation can be a rough and complicated process and going through this without an attorney can mean you or someone who rightfully deserves to be a part of the estate plan is cut out entirely.
Further, you may believe that the executor or appointed trustee is acting in a biased way or is mishandling the responsibilities given to them. This is another reason you may want to reach out to a lawyer.
3 Reasons to Hire a Probate Lawyer
The probate process can raise many issues with executing a testator’s will. If you have concerns about the administration of a will, you may need to hire a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ. Here are some reasons why.
1. Issues With Estate Accounting
The estate’s executor is required to file an accounting with the probate court. In some instances, executors do not file the required accounting on time. The filed accounting may raise questions as to what happened to specific assets. The filing may not have included all required supporting documentation. If you have reason to believe that the estate accounting is not accurate, you can contact a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, to review the accounting. A lawyer with the Kaplan Law Practice will analyze the accounting to determine apparent discrepancies. An inaccurate accounting can signify that assets have been misappropriated or not distributed per the directives in the will.
2. Problems With Executor
Executors have the power to administer the assets of the estate. If you think the executor may have misappropriated assets or made unlawful transfers, you should contact a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ. In some cases, an executor may not follow the directives listed in the will. As a beneficiary or other interested party, you may be able to take legal action against an executor who has acted improperly or is not accurately following the will. An attorney with the Kaplan Law Practice can advise you on courses of action available to recover assets from the executor or enforce provisions of the will.
3. Trouble With the Will
A will drafter writes a document based on the desires expressed by the testator. Sometimes, the written expression is unclear as to what the testator was trying to accomplish. If you disagree with the interpretation of a provision by the executor, a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, can review the document to see if you may have an actionable claim. You may need to file a lawsuit to have the court decide how to interpret a particular clause in the will. An attorney with the Kaplan Law Practice has experience in litigation involving wills and can help you with any legal action.
An executor has many responsibilities in administering an estate. If you are a will beneficiary, you have the right to make sure the executor is acting properly.
4 Reasons to Contest a Will
When a loved one passes away, the last thing you want is to find yourself caught up in a contentious lawsuit. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case. With the person no longer around to clarify their intentions, wills and trusts can be tricky to navigate. Though it may feel like you are only the person who has gone through something like this, probate disputes are quite common. You may find yourself in need of a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ if you plan to challenge a will for any of the following reasons.
A case of forgery is one reason you may believe a will needs to be contested. If you have reason to believe your relative or loved one was not the person who wrote or signed their will, you may have grounds to challenge the will. Kaplan Law Practice has a lot of experience dealing with these types of cases, so you can find solace in the fact that your loved one’s wishes are in capable hands.
2. Undue Influence
If you believe that another person pressured or coerced the deceased to tailor the will to their benefit, that would fall under the category of undue influence. This type of case can present itself in several ways, but the most obvious occurs when family members have been suddenly written out of a will completely, with one person becoming the sole beneficiary. People exerting undue influence are often in a position of power over the one writing the will, such as a caregiver or family member.
If there are any provisions in the will that are unclear, you may have grounds to contest it. One person may be listed to receive an asset in one section, with another person being named for the same asset later on. A lack of clarity is one instance where you may want to consult a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ. Kaplan Law Practice can help you determine the true intentions of the deceased.
Another reason to challenge a will is if you believe the person was not of sound mind and body when they created it. Incapacity may be mental or physical, and both types are grounds to consult a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ. If the deceased could not make decisions for themselves due to mental incapacity, then they were not fit to divide their estate or trust in the eyes of the law.
How To Navigate the Trademark Process
Creating your brand is an exciting time. You can be in control of your business and release your fresh content out into the world. Have you ever thought about registering your trademark?
The process may seem daunting. However, there are a few ways you can navigate the process. The Kaplan Law Practice can also help you work on this exciting process.
1. Do Your Research
Before you file, you should understand the guidelines that differentiate trademarks. Simply put, a trademark can be a symbol, word, phrase, or design (or a combination of these items) that distinguishes your goods from any others.
You should make sure that your trademark is unique. This means conducting thorough research. Be sure there aren’t other manufacturers that have a trademark that matches what you want to do.
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed by this process. A trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, can help answer any questions you may have about your situation.
2. File the Paperwork
It is time to file after you’re sure that your trademark is unique. You submit your trademark registration to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (also knowns as the USPTO).
Among other things, you need detailed contact information, specifications about the trademark, and date of first use. Kaplan Law Practice understands that a lot rides on this application. A trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, can help you prepare what you need for the filing process.
3. Be Patient
At this point, you’ve hit submit on the application. Now, it is a waiting game. Trademarks can take 8-10 months to be approved. You can request your trademark to be expedited. You will have to prove why your trademark needs faster approval.
However, even if you do get an expedited application, it can take 5-6 months to clear. So, when you turn in your application, know it won’t be getting approved tomorrow.
4. Prepare for Opposition
You’ve waited for a long time, and then you hear the examining attorney approve your trademark. There’s just one more step to go. After your trademark is approved, a 30-day “opposition” period occurs. At this time, other parties can file in opposition to your trademark.
This period may feel like it is lasting ages. Know that you don’t field those opposing parties on your own. A trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, can help you take on those who file in opposition.
Call Our Office For More Help!
If you need the help of a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey, call Kaplan Law Practice, LLC today.